clark success story part 2
'FROM THEN ON his rise was more rapid. Wilbur saved his pennies, worked for a number of gambling houses about the country, bought some of his own, went broke and started over again. Wilbur, who has no taste for a pool room atmosphere, all the time was dreaming of his better mousetrap, a luxurious resort casino such as those in Europe, where a man could get a buck without getting his foot caught in a cuspidor or having to look both ways for the cops. Today Wilbur's dream of a better mousetrap has come true — the fabulous Desert Inn at Las Vegas, which makes Monte Carlo look as modish as a 1900 bustle. At Wilbur's gilded 4 1 ,2 million dollar inn the weary, wayworn traveler may rent a room for from So to $50 a day, play golf on a million dollar 18-hole grass course in the desert, and for $5.50 eat a steak dinner and see a floor show that would cost him to $50 or more in New York. The same traveler can slake his thirst 24 hours a day —or invest anything from a nickel to $1,000 (that's the limit) around the clock in the casino. * * * * THE CASINO HAS 90 slot machines, three roulette wheels, six blackjack tables, five crap tables. Their winnings, of course, subsidize the floor shows, which feature such name stars as Betty Button or Herb Shriner and cost up to $35,000 a week, half the price of putting on a Broadway show. "You can't stop people from gambling," said Wilbur, which may explain why he wisely refrained from putting locks on the casino doors. "But a guest could stay here for a week and never make a laydown, and we wouldn't know it. Whether he goes info the casino is up to him. "I believe if you give people what they want, and most people want the best, they'll come to you. We turn away 200 people a day." Clark has a list of 40,000 guests from all parts of the world, feels he knows 30,000 of them himself, and they range "from a Chinese general and a federal judge on up.". His customers aren't the kind who go broke, and his only trouble is a bum check now and then. But his bad check losses probably aren't more than $150,000 or so a year. Chickenfeed.